Review Category : National News

Phone Scams: Why People Keep Falling for the Oldest Scam in the Book

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was 11 o’clock in the morning when Luann and Betty Ann’s world was shattered with a single phone call.

“He says, ‘Do you have a daughter or a son?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I have a daughter,’” Luann said. “And he said, ‘Oh boy, there’s been a terrible accident. Four cars at an intersection. Everyone is unconscious.’”

“He said, ‘What kind of car does she have?’ And I said, ‘It’s a Kia,’” she continued. “And he said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a Kia here. She’s unconscious.’”

The two women, who asked that their full names not be used, didn’t know who the man on the phone was but, terrified for their daughter’s life, they jumped into their own car and headed out to look for her, staying on the phone with the stranger.

“I am thinking my daughter is laying on a highway somewhere unconscious,” Betty Ann said. “And the scariest part was we didn’t even know where she was. They wouldn’t say exactly where she was.”

But then, the story took an unexpected, and even more frightening, turn.

“I was like, ‘You have to tell me exactly where you are and what the hell is going on now,’” Luann said. “And then his whole demeanor changed and he was like, ‘Now you wait a minute. … We have her, at gunpoint, and we are going to shoot her if you don’t give me $1,700.’”

But what Luann and Betty Ann didn’t know at the time was that they were on the receiving end of a phone scam, where the latest tactic in an otherwise low-tech crime is for con artists to claim to have kidnapped a loved one and are holding them for ransom.

“I never felt terror before in my life,” Luann said. “This was absolute terror, having your child’s life in your hands.”

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over 25 million Americans lose in excess of $2.5 billion to fraud each year, and phone scams, which account for a big chunk of that, have been surprisingly successful for decades. Past scams have included asking people to invest in an oil company, gas deal or gold coins. Con artists have also been known to pose as lottery officials or IRS agents calling about taxes owed. Whatever the pitch, phone scammers are like top-notch salespeople, and they are extremely effective.

“These are dangerous people you are on the phone with,” said Jimmy, a convicted con artist. “Make no bones about it. I am a dangerous person. On the telephone if I chose to be fraudulent in my practices there is nothing that is going to stop me taking lots of money from people, period.”

Choosing their next victim, what Jimmy called “the crush” or “the kill,” is emotionally driven. “It’s not logic,” he said. “If you apply logic to this concept it’s ‘No, I am not going to send you my hard earned money. I don’t even know who you are.’”

Doug Shadel, a former fraud investigator and current Senior State Director for AARP in Washington state, has interviewed Jimmy and more than a dozen con artists like him, trying to understand how they are able to pull off a scam most people think they would never fall for. The AARP runs their own Fraud Watch Network where they track the latest scams.

“We always ask them the same question: ‘What is your central strategy for defrauding people?’” Shadel said. “They all say the same thing, ‘get them under the ether.’ … a heightened emotional state where you are no longer thinking rationally but you are reacting emotionally.”

A heightened emotional state, such as the con artist claiming he has kidnapped someone’s child.

“This explains why so many people who are doctors, lawyers, professors of chemistry have actually fallen for this stuff,” Shadel said. “How could somebody that smart fall for this? It’s not their intellect that’s engaged when they make that decision. It’s the emotion.”

Shadel said he has received piles of recordings from states attorney general investigations into phone scams, many filled with abusive and demeaning language, even threats.

“Whenever I get tired and need some motivation I listen to tapes like this to remind me that there are thousands of people out there who are suffering in silence. They are afraid … and people comply out of that fear,” Shadel said. “Part of our goal is to give people an opportunity to come forward, shine a light on these things so that law enforcement can do something about it and we can help each other.”

But for law enforcement, tracking down scammers can be challenging. The New York Attorney General’s office is currently taking on the grandparent phone scam, where a grandparent gets a call from a scammer pretending to be a teenage grandchild in trouble.

The Attorney General’s office is reaching out to the supposed victims — the grandkids — to try to get them to warn their families about phony phone calls that could come their way. Investigators say they are up against crooks who have no problem tugging at a person’s heartstrings to rip them off.

Looking back on that day, Luann said she didn’t think there was anything she would have done differently.

“When they do that to you they pull right at your emotions and you are raw. You are terrorized, and you will do anything,” she said.

She and Betty Ann say they were lucky to be together when the supposed kidnapping call came in. While Luann was on the phone with the scammer, Betty Ann frantically tried to call their daughter.

“At first I called and there was no answer. I called again and said, ‘Where are you?’” Betty Ann recalled. “And then finally I get back a text, ‘I’m in class. What’s wrong?’”

“And then once I knew it was a scam I hung up,” Luann said.

And they weren’t the only one terrorized that day. Their daughter, Maxine, was also panicked.

“It killed me just to hear — that’s my mom, I love and care for her, she’s my life. … To hear her voice like that, I got upset and then I got angry,” she said. “I was like who was doing this to my mother? Who are you to do this to my mother. This is my mother, my family. You don’t do that.”

They filed a police report, but doubt the callers will ever be caught, which is why, in addition to not using their full names, they asked that their location not be revealed either.

“I have heard of scams. I’ve never heard of this,” Betty Ann said. “The way they just got the details and got the info and used it against me, that’s exactly what they did, they got the info they needed and used it against me.”

Investigators warn even if you keep your doors locked and passwords secured, crooks want into your life, and sometimes, they’re just a phone call away.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Ferguson ‘On Edge’ and Worried, Brown Family Lawyer Says

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The city of Ferguson is “nervous, on edge, scared” as they await the grand jury’s decision on the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, a lawyer for the Brown family and protest leaders said on Friday.

“The city is really in a panic at this moment,” attorney Anthony Gray said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

Federal, state and county officials have been ramping up their readiness in case there is a fresh wave of angry and at times violent protests over the jury’s decision. Protesters have been demanding that Police Officer Darren Wilson be charged with murder for the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown.

Gray said that he has received “numerous calls, emails and text messages expressing concern from members of our community about their safety,” including from residents who specifically say they are worried about how they are going to get necessary medication.

Many stores have boarded up their windows for fear of destructive protesters. The manager of Beauty Town Plus, a salon on West Florissant Avenue, where much of the protests centered during the summer, told ABC News that they decided to board up because their windows were broken three times following Brown’s death.

Law enforcement have taken the threat of violence seriously as well as two federal officials confirmed to ABC News that more than 100 FBI personnel are being sent to the St. Louis area to join those already in the area and opened an intelligence center to head up operations.

There were protests in the area both Wednesday and Thursday, though with less than half a dozen arrests at each, they were far smaller than those held this summer.

“It’s a dicey situation right now,” Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told ABC News.

“We’re preparing for the worst, but we’re really hoping that the leadership… understands the property rights of others and the value of human life,” he said.

County Executive Charlie Dooley was more optimistic.

“I do not expect the worst and I said it then and I say it now. I expect the best in people. I am encouraged by conversations between law enforcement and protest groups,” Dooley said.

Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Michael Brown Sr., the slain teenager’s father, have released videos urging protesters to remain peaceful when the grand jury’s decision is handed down.

“It’s hard to sleep when you’ve got this looming,” Jackson said.

One business owner, Charles Davis, has remained optimistic about the possible protests and refused to take any extra precautions to fend off looters.

Davis, who bought Ferguson Burger Bar & More the day before Brown was killed, said that he has received support from both locals and people across the country who have heard about his decision to stay open through any protests that come with the verdict.

“I had a gentleman yesterday who drove from Memphis just to get a burger,” Davis told ABC News.

“I’ve heard some things but that one brought me to tears,” he said.

Davis said his restaurant will be open on Saturday but closed Sunday, as always.

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Military Mom’s ‘Pride Packages’ Spread Love and Support Overseas

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One mother’s care packages to her soldier son have now turned into gifts of love for untold numbers in war zones.

Evan Garlick joined the Marines when he was 17. He was eventually deployed to Iraq, a combat zone filled with chaos and pain.

He was injured by a roadside bomb in December 2006, but refused medical attention so a more seriously injured fellow Marine would be taken care of.

“I could feel the shrapnel and I remember taking a piece out,” Garlick, now living in Pelham, Georgia, told ABC News. “They said the lieutenant was down and we ran to him.”

Garlick earned a Purple Heart and both Marines recovered from their injuries. This wasn’t the first time Garlick had displayed such selflessness.

In his first deployment in 2005, his mother, Pat Garlick, would send him letters every single day, along with a weekly care package. His nickname around the base quickly turned into “post office.”

One day, however, Garlick noticed a buddy in his barracks wasn’t getting any mail at all.

“He was disappointed because everyone had received mail,” Garlick said. “You can see the look on his face of disappointment when the mail came. And when it was all gone, he hadn’t received anything yet.”

So he put in a special request with his mom: To send his empty-handed friend a package and “keep it a secret.”

“He goes, ‘Mom, can you send him a package?’” Garlick’s mom recalled. “’But don’t tell him where it came from. I don’t want him to know.’”

The package was received and something magnificent began. Garlick and his mother’s act of kindness has now turned into an assembly line of love. More than 3,000 care packages filled with snacks, goodies and magazines, all packed into personalized boxes they’ve dubbed “Pride Packages.”

Pat Garlick works with AnySoldier.com, a website that helps facilitate sending items to soldiers overseas, to get the names and addresses for where to send her “Pride Packages.”

“My mission is to make sure those in need receive something from back home,” she said.

Garlick and her team of volunteers in Shelbyville, Illinois, have sent more than 3,000 packages since her son’s deployment.

ABC News found one of the recipients of Garlick’s care packages, Navy Lt. Cheryl Collins.

Collins, who was stationed in Afghanistan, had a message for Garlick.

“I am so thankful for you and what you mean to so many people,” Collins said.

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Phone Scams: Why People Keep Falling for the Oldest Scam in the Book

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was 11 o’clock in the morning when Luann and Betty Ann’s world was shattered with a single phone call.

“He says, ‘Do you have a daughter or a son?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I have a daughter,’” Luann said. “And he said, ‘Oh boy, there’s been a terrible accident. Four cars at an intersection. Everyone is unconscious.’”

“He said, ‘What kind of car does she have?’ And I said, ‘It’s a Kia,’” she continued. “And he said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a Kia here. She’s unconscious.’”

The two women, who asked that their full names not be used, didn’t know who the man on the phone was but, terrified for their daughter’s life, they jumped into their own car and headed out to look for her, staying on the phone with the stranger.

“I am thinking my daughter is laying on a highway somewhere unconscious,” Betty Ann said. “And the scariest part was we didn’t even know where she was. They wouldn’t say exactly where she was.”

But then, the story took an unexpected, and even more frightening, turn.

“I was like, ‘You have to tell me exactly where you are and what the hell is going on now,’” Luann said. “And then his whole demeanor changed and he was like, ‘Now you wait a minute. … We have her, at gunpoint, and we are going to shoot her if you don’t give me $1,700.’”

But what Luann and Betty Ann didn’t know at the time was that they were on the receiving end of a phone scam, where the latest tactic in an otherwise low-tech crime is for con artists to claim to have kidnapped a loved one and are holding them for ransom.

“I never felt terror before in my life,” Luann said. “This was absolute terror, having your child’s life in your hands.”

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over 25 million Americans lose in excess of $2.5 billion to fraud each year, and phone scams, which account for a big chunk of that, have been surprisingly successful for decades. Past scams have included asking people to invest in an oil company, gas deal or gold coins. Con artists have also been known to pose as lottery officials or IRS agents calling about taxes owed. Whatever the pitch, phone scammers are like top-notch salespeople, and they are extremely effective.

“These are dangerous people you are on the phone with,” said Jimmy, a convicted con artist. “Make no bones about it. I am a dangerous person. On the telephone if I chose to be fraudulent in my practices there is nothing that is going to stop me taking lots of money from people, period.”

Choosing their next victim, what Jimmy called “the crush” or “the kill,” is emotionally driven. “It’s not logic,” he said. “If you apply logic to this concept it’s ‘No, I am not going to send you my hard earned money. I don’t even know who you are.’”

Doug Shadel, a former fraud investigator and current Senior State Director for AARP in Washington state, has interviewed Jimmy and more than a dozen con artists like him, trying to understand how they are able to pull off a scam most people think they would never fall for. The AARP runs their own Fraud Watch Network where they track the latest scams.

“We always ask them the same question: ‘What is your central strategy for defrauding people?’” Shadel said. “They all say the same thing, ‘get them under the ether.’ … a heightened emotional state where you are no longer thinking rationally but you are reacting emotionally.”

A heightened emotional state, such as the con artist claiming he has kidnapped someone’s child.

“This explains why so many people who are doctors, lawyers, professors of chemistry have actually fallen for this stuff,” Shadel said. “How could somebody that smart fall for this? It’s not their intellect that’s engaged when they make that decision. It’s the emotion.”

Shadel said he has received piles of recordings from states attorney general investigations into phone scams, many filled with abusive and demeaning language, even threats.

“Whenever I get tired and need some motivation I listen to tapes like this to remind me that there are thousands of people out there who are suffering in silence. They are afraid … and people comply out of that fear,” Shadel said. “Part of our goal is to give people an opportunity to come forward, shine a light on these things so that law enforcement can do something about it and we can help each other.”

But for law enforcement, tracking down scammers can be challenging. The New York Attorney General’s office is currently taking on the grandparent phone scam, where a grandparent gets a call from a scammer pretending to be a teenage grandchild in trouble.

The Attorney General’s office is reaching out to the supposed victims — the grandkids — to try to get them to warn their families about phony phone calls that could come their way. Investigators say they are up against crooks who have no problem tugging at a person’s heartstrings to rip them off.

Looking back on that day, Luann said she didn’t think there was anything she would have done differently.

“When they do that to you they pull right at your emotions and you are raw. You are terrorized, and you will do anything,” she said.

She and Betty Ann say they were lucky to be together when the supposed kidnapping call came in. While Luann was on the phone with the scammer, Betty Ann frantically tried to call their daughter.

“At first I called and there was no answer. I called again and said, ‘Where are you?’” Betty Ann recalled. “And then finally I get back a text, ‘I’m in class. What’s wrong?’”

“And then once I knew it was a scam I hung up,” Luann said.

And they weren’t the only one terrorized that day. Their daughter, Maxine, was also panicked.

“It killed me just to hear — that’s my mom, I love and care for her, she’s my life. … To hear her voice like that, I got upset and then I got angry,” she said. “I was like who was doing this to my mother? Who are you to do this to my mother. This is my mother, my family. You don’t do that.”

They filed a police report, but doubt the callers will ever be caught, which is why, in addition to not using their full names, they asked that their location not be revealed either.

“I have heard of scams. I’ve never heard of this,” Betty Ann said. “The way they just got the details and got the info and used it against me, that’s exactly what they did, they got the info they needed and used it against me.”

Investigators warn even if you keep your doors locked and passwords secured, crooks want into your life, and sometimes, they’re just a phone call away.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →

Phone Scams: Why People Keep Falling for the Oldest Scam in the Book

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was 11 o’clock in the morning when Luann and Betty Ann’s world was shattered with a single phone call.

“He says, ‘Do you have a daughter or a son?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I have a daughter,’” Luann said. “And he said, ‘Oh boy, there’s been a terrible accident. Four cars at an intersection. Everyone is unconscious.’”

“He said, ‘What kind of car does she have?’ And I said, ‘It’s a Kia,’” she continued. “And he said, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a Kia here. She’s unconscious.’”

The two women, who asked that their full names not be used, didn’t know who the man on the phone was but, terrified for their daughter’s life, they jumped into their own car and headed out to look for her, staying on the phone with the stranger.

“I am thinking my daughter is laying on a highway somewhere unconscious,” Betty Ann said. “And the scariest part was we didn’t even know where she was. They wouldn’t say exactly where she was.”

But then, the story took an unexpected, and even more frightening, turn.

“I was like, ‘You have to tell me exactly where you are and what the hell is going on now,’” Luann said. “And then his whole demeanor changed and he was like, ‘Now you wait a minute. … We have her, at gunpoint, and we are going to shoot her if you don’t give me $1,700.’”

But what Luann and Betty Ann didn’t know at the time was that they were on the receiving end of a phone scam, where the latest tactic in an otherwise low-tech crime is for con artists to claim to have kidnapped a loved one and are holding them for ransom.

“I never felt terror before in my life,” Luann said. “This was absolute terror, having your child’s life in your hands.”

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over 25 million Americans lose in excess of $2.5 billion to fraud each year, and phone scams, which account for a big chunk of that, have been surprisingly successful for decades. Past scams have included asking people to invest in an oil company, gas deal or gold coins. Con artists have also been known to pose as lottery officials or IRS agents calling about taxes owed. Whatever the pitch, phone scammers are like top-notch salespeople, and they are extremely effective.

“These are dangerous people you are on the phone with,” said Jimmy, a convicted con artist. “Make no bones about it. I am a dangerous person. On the telephone if I chose to be fraudulent in my practices there is nothing that is going to stop me taking lots of money from people, period.”

Choosing their next victim, what Jimmy called “the crush” or “the kill,” is emotionally driven. “It’s not logic,” he said. “If you apply logic to this concept it’s ‘No, I am not going to send you my hard earned money. I don’t even know who you are.’”

Doug Shadel, a former fraud investigator and current Senior State Director for AARP in Washington state, has interviewed Jimmy and more than a dozen con artists like him, trying to understand how they are able to pull off a scam most people think they would never fall for. The AARP runs their own Fraud Watch Network where they track the latest scams.

“We always ask them the same question: ‘What is your central strategy for defrauding people?’” Shadel said. “They all say the same thing, ‘get them under the ether.’ … a heightened emotional state where you are no longer thinking rationally but you are reacting emotionally.”

A heightened emotional state, such as the con artist claiming he has kidnapped someone’s child.

“This explains why so many people who are doctors, lawyers, professors of chemistry have actually fallen for this stuff,” Shadel said. “How could somebody that smart fall for this? It’s not their intellect that’s engaged when they make that decision. It’s the emotion.”

Shadel said he has received piles of recordings from states attorney general investigations into phone scams, many filled with abusive and demeaning language, even threats.

“Whenever I get tired and need some motivation I listen to tapes like this to remind me that there are thousands of people out there who are suffering in silence. They are afraid … and people comply out of that fear,” Shadel said. “Part of our goal is to give people an opportunity to come forward, shine a light on these things so that law enforcement can do something about it and we can help each other.”

But for law enforcement, tracking down scammers can be challenging. The New York Attorney General’s office is currently taking on the grandparent phone scam, where a grandparent gets a call from a scammer pretending to be a teenage grandchild in trouble.

The Attorney General’s office is reaching out to the supposed victims — the grandkids — to try to get them to warn their families about phony phone calls that could come their way. Investigators say they are up against crooks who have no problem tugging at a person’s heartstrings to rip them off.

Looking back on that day, Luann said she didn’t think there was anything she would have done differently.

“When they do that to you they pull right at your emotions and you are raw. You are terrorized, and you will do anything,” she said.

She and Betty Ann say they were lucky to be together when the supposed kidnapping call came in. While Luann was on the phone with the scammer, Betty Ann frantically tried to call their daughter.

“At first I called and there was no answer. I called again and said, ‘Where are you?’” Betty Ann recalled. “And then finally I get back a text, ‘I’m in class. What’s wrong?’”

“And then once I knew it was a scam I hung up,” Luann said.

And they weren’t the only one terrorized that day. Their daughter, Maxine, was also panicked.

“It killed me just to hear — that’s my mom, I love and care for her, she’s my life. … To hear her voice like that, I got upset and then I got angry,” she said. “I was like who was doing this to my mother? Who are you to do this to my mother. This is my mother, my family. You don’t do that.”

They filed a police report, but doubt the callers will ever be caught, which is why, in addition to not using their full names, they asked that their location not be revealed either.

“I have heard of scams. I’ve never heard of this,” Betty Ann said. “The way they just got the details and got the info and used it against me, that’s exactly what they did, they got the info they needed and used it against me.”

Investigators warn even if you keep your doors locked and passwords secured, crooks want into your life, and sometimes, they’re just a phone call away.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — The FBI has sent about 100 agents to the St. Louis area to help deal with any problems that could arise from the grand jury decision in the police shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.

In addition to the FBI, other federal agencies have also mobilized staffers to get to St. Louis on Friday, sources told ABC News.

A decision by the grand jury is expected soon, but St. Louis authorities said on Friday that the grand jury is still meeting. The panel will decide whether or not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.

Authorities are braced for a recurrence of angry protests that turned violent at times during the summer.

The FBI has ordered its Ferguson contingent to mobilize and arrive in the St. Louis area on Friday. In addition to FBI personnel already in the St. Louis area, about 100 more are being dispatched, law enforcement sources said. Additional FBI personnel have been put on alert so that they could be called in as part of a second emergency wave if necessary, ABC News has learned.

The FBI is opening up its special St. Louis intelligence center on Friday. This facility will be in constant contact with the Missouri and St. Louis County Emergency Operations Center.

The FBI declined to comment.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency earlier this week and activated the Missouri National Guard to help keep order if necessary.

Michael Brown Sr., the father of the slain teen, issued a videotaped appeal this week for protesters to remain peaceful whatever the verdict.

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Report Details Missed Opportunities to Treat Adam Lanza’s Mental Illness

Kateleen Foy/Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) — Adam Lanza’s preoccupation with violence was evident early on but Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate said it went “largely unaddressed.”

The office’s new report on the Newtown school shooter, out Friday, found that the school system helped Lanza’s mother appease him as he became socially withdrawn.

The authors faulted Lanza’s parents who “may not have understood the depth…of his disabilities.”

The shootings, the authors said, were not inevitable but Lanza’s severe state, preoccupation with violence and easy access to guns “proved a recipe for mass murder” at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Twenty-six people, including 20 children, died in the Dec. 14, 2012 incident.

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Report Details Missed Opportunities to Treat Adam Lanza’s Mental Illness

Kateleen Foy/Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) — Adam Lanza’s preoccupation with violence was evident early on but Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate said it went “largely unaddressed.”

The office’s new report on the Newtown school shooter, out Friday, found that the school system helped Lanza’s mother appease him as he became socially withdrawn.

The authors faulted Lanza’s parents who “may not have understood the depth…of his disabilities.”

The shootings, the authors said, were not inevitable but Lanza’s severe state, preoccupation with violence and easy access to guns “proved a recipe for mass murder” at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Twenty-six people, including 20 children, died in the Dec. 14, 2012 incident.

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Former Sheriff’s Deputy Accused in Wife’s 2012 Shooting Death

KMGH(DENVER) — A former sheriff’s deputy in Colorado is in custody, accused of killing his wife nearly three years ago, a death that was originally ruled a suicide.

Tom Fallis, 34, who now lives in Bloomington, Indiana, appeared in court Thursday for an extradition hearing. He will soon be moved to Colorado to formally face charges for the New Year’s 2012 murder of his wife Ashley Fallis, 28.

According to a grand jury indictment, the husband “became irate” at the end of a New Year’s party, stormed into their master bedroom, grabbed a handgun and shot his wife. He is charged with two felony charges of murder.

Tom Fallis’ attorney said the man is innocent.

The husband called 911 to report his wife’s death. “My wife just shot herself in the head. Please help me! Please help me!” he told dispatchers at the time.

Four different agencies initially agreed it was a suicide, police said.

Dan Recht, an attorney for Ashley Fallis’ family, said her relatives could never accept that analysis.

“They just knew their daughter, she was very happy, a young mother with three young children. And the idea that she would somehow decide to commit suicide, they would never accept it,” Recht said.

As new witness testimony came to light, police reopened the investigation, leading to the grand jury that brought charges against Tom Fallis.

Jenna Fox, Ashley’s mother, said she’s stunned by the arrest.

“Shock, elation, sadnes …it encompasses every emotion you could have,” Fox said.

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Former Sheriff’s Deputy Accused in Wife’s 2012 Shooting Death

KMGH(DENVER) — A former sheriff’s deputy in Colorado is in custody, accused of killing his wife nearly three years ago, a death that was originally ruled a suicide.

Tom Fallis, 34, who now lives in Bloomington, Indiana, appeared in court Thursday for an extradition hearing. He will soon be moved to Colorado to formally face charges for the New Year’s 2012 murder of his wife Ashley Fallis, 28.

According to a grand jury indictment, the husband “became irate” at the end of a New Year’s party, stormed into their master bedroom, grabbed a handgun and shot his wife. He is charged with two felony charges of murder.

Tom Fallis’ attorney said the man is innocent.

The husband called 911 to report his wife’s death. “My wife just shot herself in the head. Please help me! Please help me!” he told dispatchers at the time.

Four different agencies initially agreed it was a suicide, police said.

Dan Recht, an attorney for Ashley Fallis’ family, said her relatives could never accept that analysis.

“They just knew their daughter, she was very happy, a young mother with three young children. And the idea that she would somehow decide to commit suicide, they would never accept it,” Recht said.

As new witness testimony came to light, police reopened the investigation, leading to the grand jury that brought charges against Tom Fallis.

Jenna Fox, Ashley’s mother, said she’s stunned by the arrest.

“Shock, elation, sadnes …it encompasses every emotion you could have,” Fox said.

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